A video recorded by late NBA superstar Kobe Bryant may have played a role in helping the Los Angeles Dodgers land the historic deal with MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani.
How it played out:
A video pitch recorded by Bryant in 2017 that was played for Ohtani during the meeting also played a role in convincing him to join the Dodgers, according to ESPN
. In the late Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar’s message, Bryant
reportedly told the Japanese-born two-way phenom
that there is no better place to win than in Los Angeles and no better baseball team to win with than the Dodgers.
According to the report, Ohtani was taken aback by Bryant’s message, telling ESPN through his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, “That was one of the highlights of the whole meeting.”
“I was really surprised to see it,” he added. “It was a strong and touching message.”
Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident
on Jan. 26, 2020, filmed the video as part of the closing pitch effort for the Dodgers to help the Dodgers convince Ohtani to sign with them in 2017. The Japanese star, however, ended up signing with the Los Angeles Angels instead.
About his contract:
While Ohtani’s contract with the Dodgers is by far the largest in baseball history, the baseball star reportedly decided to defer $680 million – money that will be paid between 2034 and 2043 – from the deal so the Dodgers could continue signing better players to also help ease the Competitive Balance Tax, he explained
at a team press conference on Thursday.